Is Your Bag Causing Back Pain?

In earlier days, handbags were exactly designed to be carried in your hands for smaller items like money or trinkets. It wasn’t until the 20th century, with more women becoming employed, that purses grew in size and began being slung over the shoulder for evening use or going to the office. Fast forward to the present day and many of us are hauling around Mary Poppins-sized totes. But carting a heavy purse all day is more harmful to our health than we may realize.

Experts suggest that you shouldn’t carry more than 10% of your body weight in a bag – it creates an imbalance in your posture, straining the muscles in your back and neck. If you’re experiencing shoulder, back, buttock, and arm pain or tingling in your hands — unhealthy handbag habits could be to blame. Let’s look at some of the culprits and how you can avoid causing serious injury to your spine.

Being prepared for a possible Walking Dead scenario has its advantages, but it’s also putting endless stress on your hips and shoulders. The continued off-kilter angle that you subject your body to could also result in your gait becoming unbalanced.

Lightening your load is the best way to ensure that your muscles and shoulders stay healthy. “Simply reduce the weight of your handbag to the point where you don’t feel any noticeable strain from carrying it.

For men, be aware of how heavy your wallet is – carrying it in your back pocket disrupts the balance of your pelvis and spine, which in time can contribute to arthritis. Aim to keep the thickness of your wallet under 0.5cm – get rid of accumulated receipts, only carry the cards you need and avoid having wads of small bills.

Strategies for a Back Pain-Friendly Bag

Experts suggest that you shouldn’t carry more than 10% of your body weight in a bag – it creates an imbalance in your posture, straining the muscles in your back and neck. If you’re experiencing shoulder, back, buttock, and arm pain or tingling in your hands — unhealthy handbag habits could be to blame. Let’s look at some of the culprits and how you can avoid causing serious injury to your spine.

Pick the smallest bag you can. The bigger the bag, the more you put in it, Do yourself a favor and carry the smallest bag filled with only what you really need and leave the rest at home. Keep in mind that it’s usually not one single item that leads to back pain symptoms. More likely, it’s the accumulation of smaller items, such as loads of loose change that causes pain.

Putting extra weight on one side of your body is one of the biggest back pain causes. Any time you carry weight on one side of your body for an extended period of time, it causes your spine to curve, and that leads to back pain symptoms. It’s better to choose a messenger bag that you wear diagonally across your body rather than a single-strap bag that rests on one shoulder.

When you can’t avoid using a single-strap bag, be conscious of changing the sides you use to carry it. If it’s a short strap that you carry with your hand, regularly move it from your left hand to your right hand. If it’s a shoulder strap, try changing it from your left shoulder to your right shoulder.

A thin strap resting on your shoulder can cut into your muscles and lead to problems.

The dual straps of a backpack are the best at evenly distributing weight on your body, and that’s leading more adults to use them. Frequent fliers are turning to carrying backpacks as a remedy for back pain.

If it’s too heavy, see if there’s anything you can do without. The best thing you can do for your back is to be a minimalist. Don’t carry what you don’t have to, but when you need to take a bag with you, choose the right one and wear it the proper way to eliminate back pain causes.

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